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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Surfing and Service! – California Community Service

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Hey Family and Friends of California Community Service CA1!

Day 5: That’s Cool… What an awesome day at the beach! Today the crew headed over to San Elijo State Beach for surfing lessons and to watch the locals shred the waves. Conner and Gary were natural surfers, riding waves on the first try all the way to the beach. Avery, Carolina, and Maya were so excited to check off an item on their bucket lists while the rest of us suited up and enjoyed the surf. The instructors were very helpful, often saying, “that’s cool” as encouragement as we learned proper surfing technique and surfer slang. After the lessons, we spent some time playing games or just basking in the sun on the beach.

After the beach, we returned to base camp and got ready for dinner at Los Coyotes. In the heart of Old Town San Diego, Los Coyotes is the must visit Mexican Restaurant, and the food was fantastic. Jimmy, Hannah, and Megan enjoyed some of the less spicy fare, while Rachel, Anna, and Christophe opted for some of the more “caliente” options. After our meal, we returned back to campus and played a team building game called “Saboteur,” having teams work to duplicate a secret structure while trying to figure out the secret “saboteur” within the group. Then it was off to bed, the next day being a big day at the San Diego Zoo!

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Day 6: Two Kitchens, 18 Chefs, One Awesome Fajita Night…Today we visited one of the most renowned zoos in the world! We arrived early to the San Diego Zoo and hopped a double decker bus tour around the park. Conner, Zach, and Brandon were the first in line to see the giant pandas while Rachel, Avery, and Taylor headed for the giraffe exhibit. We were able to see one of the big African elephants get a “pedicure” while a big horn rhino received a full body scrub down. The zoo was amazing, especially when seen from above in an air tram, which taxied us from one end of the zoo to the other, often over 100 feet in the air. There were so many amazing and exotic animals to see, the team was practically running from exhibit to exhibit. We worked up quite an appetite…

Tonight was a special fiesta night for the CA1 team. We prepared a wonderful Spanish inspired meal. Everyone helped out to make one of the most incredible meals the team has experienced yet. Gary, Avery, and Jimmy prepared the rice and sauteed the vegetables while Brandon and Christophe sliced and diced the peppers and onions. Maya, Anna, and Taylor made a fantastic guacamole while others hovered around “taste testing”. Rachel and Carolina diced and seasoned the chicken that was being cooked to perfection by chefs Zach and Conner. Taylor and Nora were on sous-chef duty while Jessica prepared the refried and black beans. Megan, Hannah, and Amanda prepared our table for the feast that would culminate a wonderful day.

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Day 7: The most incredible game…. Day 7 brought us to our third service day at the Habitat for Humanity Restore! Today we helped Habitat unpack and organize all of its porcelain thrones, which was no easy task! Conner and Jimmy took up the task of washing everything down while Maya, Carolina, and Jessica transported toilet after toilet to the proper storage area. The team worked mostly outside today and the weather turned out to be somewhat overcast, offering a welcome reprieve from the sun. The CA1 crew put in a solid day of work organizing, cleaning, and stacking toilets as well as creating space for the next shipments to arrive. A job very well done. The next stop after Habitat, was the local boys and girls club. This stop was a wonderful treat for our crew and for the young faces that greeted us at the center. Nora quickly found a new friend and several of the children took an immediate liking to Jimmy and Christophe. The CA1 crew split up and worked with various age groups, participating in activities like snack preparation, gym, and arts and education. Today was a tremendous but rewarding day, and as the saying goes… “work hard, play hard!”

The next stop was Souplantation for dinner. This place was amazing! It boasted an impressive salad bar with unlimited soup and other goodies. This gave the team a great chance to unwind and strategize for the next event….Laser Tag. The team rolled into Ultrazone Laser Tag a bit sleepy and stuffed. However, upon entering a renewed energy swept through the team. Suddenly competition was fierce as we divided into red, blue, and yellow teams. Everyone played their hearts out, including the counselors. Gary was an outstanding laser tag opponent, capturing bases and opposing teams and earning high marks. After the games had ended, the team headed home for a good night’s rest in preparation for visiting a Habitat for Humanity build site.

Until next time!  🙂

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Have we piqued your interest? Explore our 10-day21-day or 28-day tours and community service projects for teens in California. Start planning your own adventure with Westcoast Connection. It will be the travel experience of a lifetime!